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Ken Holland says Lidstrom would have been great this season

Feb 23, 2013, 10:46 AM EDT

Nicklas Lidstrom AP

You could say the Detroit Red Wings miss Nicklas Lidstrom this season. Their defense isn’t as tight and they’re not winning games the way we’ve gotten used to seeing over the last 20 years.

Wings GM Ken Holland says if Lidstrom did play this year, he would’ve been great thanks to all that veteran experience as the AP’s Larry Lage reports.

“The key with all of these guys, whether you’re talking about Lidstrom, Selanne, Brodeur or Jagr is that they’re some of the best players we’ve had in the history of the game,” Holland said. “By the time they get to their 40s, they’re just coming back to the pack a little bit.”

Holland apparently still believes Lidstrom would’ve been a top-10 defenseman at 42 years-old but rather than looking at what could’ve been, focusing on the now would do the Red Wings a lot of good. Injuries have forced them to dip into the minors and it’s taken time for the new-look Wings to get it together.

Still, you can’t totally fault Holland for pining for the future Hall of Famer. Seeing how the guys he mentioned are still producing now should make him jealous that Lidstrom just didn’t want to keep going.

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